My new friend L and I had decided to get together for dinner on Monday. I was excited about this, because a ton of restaurants offer great deals on Monday night since it is typically a slow time. One of the cheapest deals out there has got to be the Monday Night Supper at Little Dom's. For a mere $15 you get three courses, and for another $10 you can add a bottle of wine.
Walking in to Little Dom's is a bit like stepping back in history. The worn wooden floor and bar, the green leather booths, the black and white pictures of horse racing, the last rays of sun peeking through the wooden slats. If a Hollywood set designer was looking for inspiration for his 1950s mob movie, this would be a good place to visit. Even the waitresses are dressed in simple diner style uniforms, making the model-esque hostess in her chic black dress look a little out of place.
I made our reservation the night before, and the only times available were 6:30 or 9. So be aware - the word on this deal is out!! Plan well in advance. By the time we left at about 8:30, there wasn't a single empty seat in the place. And points to the restaurant for being very vocal about their deal: there were postcards with the $15 menu on the hostesses stand, and one was given to us with the menus.
Shortly after taking our seats at a small table by the window, the waitress dropped off a white wax paper bag filled with half a loaf of warm sesame baguette. This was served with a simple butter and was delicious. I especially loved that they were so generous with the sesame seeds!
The first course was Shaved Fennel and Parmesan on a bed of arugula. I would have never thought to put these ingredients together, but they worked wonderfully. The crisp bite of the fennel juxtaposed with the creamy robust cheese and the bitter tender greens. The whole thing was lightly dressed with just a hint of citrus to better accent all the flavors. I was happy to see there was just as much parmesan as fennel. So simple, yet so good!
Next came the main course, Beef Braciole, which, I have since learned, is Italian stuffed, rolled steak. It has a very meaty flavor, almost like a brisket or a stew meat. Probably a cheaper cut, this truly does feel like the kind of dish your old Italian grandmother would serve you in Brooklyn crying "Mangia! Mangia! You're too skinny!" (thanks imaginary grandma, I've been working out!;). The beef is rolled around a stuffing of cheese, breadcrumbs, and lots of pine nuts, then sauteed and simmered in tomato sauce. The whole thing was full of hearty meat flavor, accented by the acidity of the tomato sauce and the richness of the filling (L's favorite - she ended up scraping out all the filling from her meat and eating that). Some steamed summer squash was served on the side, a light touch to this heavy dish, though it certainly had it's fair share of butter and seasoning (and the occasional heat of a chili flake).
We ended the night with Chocolate Caramel Tart with Creme Fraiche Whip. This is pure richness on a plate, thank goodness they served such a small sliver of it! The smooth velvety ganache sits atop a thin layer of buttery creamy caramel. The caramel was mostly rich and delicious, but L and I each had one bite that tasted like we'd bitten in to a piece of rock salt. I like salted caramel as much as the next girl, but they need to learn to distribute the flavor throughout, not have it hiding in one place! The shortbread crust was light and crumbly, and the creme fraiche whip felt almost superfluous, given how much decadence was already on the plate. Being a dessert connoisseur, this was certainly not one of my favorites, but that didn't stop me from eating every last bite of it!
Overall, we had a wonderful meal and spent half the time exclaiming about what a remarkable deal this is! The portions are so generous I ended up taking home a doggie bag - so both the hubby and I had dinner for a mere $15!! As L remarked, for $15 you can sign me up for a standing reservation! (The menu does change every week - check the website to see what it will be.) Four belt notches out of five.
Little Dom's has $15 Suppers every Monday Night.
2128 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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